Analysis

Spotlight On: make more of your LinkedIn

Darika Ahrens

LinkedIn is one of the best ways to publish corporate content. MHP’s Digital Director, Darika Ahrens, shares her three tips to make the most of LinkedIn as a communications channel and how to maximise the power of the platform

Social media usage increased dramatically across all social media channels last year due to COVID; business users were included in this, with Microsoft reporting Record levels of engagement’ on LinkedIn, up 31% 

With a complementary bump in new members (now 772M worldwide)and the likelihood that virtual business will form a huge part of our interactions for most of 2021, there’s never been a better time to make more of LinkedIn for communications. 

Widen the audience you reach on LinkedIn 

Non-believers may still think LinkedIn is only for recruiters and job hunters, but recent data from Kantar TGI shows that: 

  • Media and comms professionals are LinkedIn power users: More than a third (38%) of people working in marketing or communications, including journalists, are using LinkedIn as a source of business information – this is 300% higher than the average UK consumer 
  • C-Suite and Board Members turn to LinkedIn for business information: While the C-Suite and Board members slightly under-index on use of LinkedIn (and social networking generally) 10% of this group describe themselves as Medium to Heavy users of the site, with 17% citing the network as a source of business information 
  • Finance industry employees over-index on use of LinkedIn: People employed in the Financial Services industry are also 28% more likely to be using LinkedIn as a source of business information than the average person 

From my perspective, LinkedIn is one of the best ways to publish corporate content which gets your narrative and news in front of media, keeps you front of mind to investor audiences outside of traditional announcement cycles, and is a powerful and effective way to engage current and future employees. This is especially true when content is directly published by company leaders like the CEO.

Tips for maximising content performance (reach and engagement) on LinkedIn

In recent months we’ve seen Twitter usage stagnate, while engagement on LinkedIn has grown. Why does everyone care about engagement so much? Aside from being a useful signal that people are seeing and liking your content, when people engage with an update, that content is then pushed into their network’s feeds. The more engagement, the more people in a network you reach.

Where possible you want to maximise the engagement your posts receive. Here are my top tips:

Tip 1. Leverage individual profiles:

While you’ll never find anything specific telling you how the LinkedIn algorithm determines which content appears in feeds, and which is less likely to be seen, there are some widely accepted trends. One of these is that the LinkedIn algorithm will prioritise the visibility of individual content published from a person’s profile over an update from a company page.

Does this mean you should abandon your company page and ask your CEO to start posting on the company’s behalf? Not quite. But, we advise you to consider with some posts where a post from an individual, like the CEO, could get better online engagement on behalf of the organisation. Of course, you should always have clear guidelines for how individuals should use LinkedIn as default representatives of the company.

If you’re looking for great inspiration on how CEOs are using LinkedIn, then LinkedIn’s own list of ‘Top Voices’ released annually collates lots of great individual profiles; from influencer favourites like Richard Branson and Ana Botin, to the top profiles in topic areas like workplace equity, finance and economy, and the top UK profiles on LinkedIn.

Tip 2. Keep people in platform:

Remember that LinkedIn algorithm which controls which content updates get shown to your friends and followers? It also prefers content which keeps people in platform.

That means, wherever possible, you should keep content hosted in LinkedIn and avoid a post which encourages people to click out. Consider:

  • Instead of linking to the company blog, post the full article into the LinkedIn blog platform (feature available on personal profiles only)
  • Upload video directly to the platform instead of using external video links to sites like YouTube.

Insider tip: You may have even noticed some people are so keen to follow this invisible golden rule that when they absolutely must include a link in a LinkedIn update, they add it to the comments section instead of the main body of the post.

Tip 3. Use high quality media:

The term used is ‘thumb stopping’ content. In a world where people are just as likely scrolling through LinkedIn as catching up on the latest Love Island news, standing out is critical. Often people neglect the media they use – imagery or video – compared to the effort they’d put into a visual platform like Instagram.

With LinkedIn’s own data showing that video content, for example, gets 3 x more attention and is 5 x more likely to start a conversation, the media you choose to include with your LinkedIn post is important

Our favourite under-used feature is the ability on LinkedIn to upload visual documents alongside your post, as well as video and photography. This means you can upload something as simple as a powerpoint deck to create amazing scrolling images like the example from Olivia Webb.

If 2021 is the year you want to learn more tips and tricks to stand out on LinkedIn, get in touch at digital@mhpc.com